Independent Schools Cultural Alliance - ISCA – Summer Programs in the UK

A Ship and a Castle – Day 5

Today was yet another of those uniquely British days that ISCA is famous for! A delicious cocktail of history and intrigue on both our green and pleasant land and the high seas! Yes….we visited the very imposing Arundel Castle and its beautiful gardens and grounds in sunny West Sussex county and also our great British icon of strength, might, valour, bravery and heroism, the rightly famous HMS Victory! This was Admiral Nelson´s Flagship and battleship, which was crucial in defeating the French and Spanish at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. What a ship…dynamite as I like to say…and it certainly carried a lot of gunpowder on board in those days for its 104 canons, yes 104! HMS Victory is located in the Historic Waterfront of Portsmouth, where the Royal Navy of today still has its base, and although Victory may not be as up-to-date as the 2 brand new Aircraft Carriers battleships which will arrive in Portsmouth next Spring, I reckon it could still give them a real fright with a rapid broadside from its canons! Even more of a fright if our ISCA students were firing them – they are keen, energetic and always up for the next encounter! Some of us also took the opportunity to tour the Maritime museum or to do a boat cruise around Portsmouth Harbour – yet more fun!

Well, the sun shone this morning and those of us at Arundel Castle climbed up to its famous Keep, the high vantage point and Tower standing in the middle of Arundel castle, on a steep mound (hill) – a ´motte and bailey´ castle as Colly kindly explained to us (google please!) – and we pretended to be braver and tougher than we are and to fight the good fight and to keep out the invaders (excuse the pun!) and to protect our pride and joy…because of course an englishman´s home is his castle! We then behaved more calmly and dutifully, but wide-eyed and fascinated, as we toured the amazing rooms within the castle, and also saw them preparing for a wedding there tomorrow….the son of the Duke of Norfolk, who lives there, will tie the knot, but hey…we already knew about tying seaman´s knots from matthew´s great lecture on Portsmouth and HMS Victory the night before!

The castle gardens were beautiful and we admired the majestic Arundel Cathedral and then we decided we better support the local economy and see whether the English know how to make decent coffee, not just the tea that they are famous for, (no..the Colombians are definitely better still) and the ISCA students were so generous in their shopping extravaganza – relinquishing some British pounds (sterling) for some great mementoes and wonderful British gifts for you guys back home I´m sure!!?

Yes, for sure, we had a great time today, the smiles were there and the spring was in the step as the students bounced off the coaches and headed into dinner…more of the exciting ISCA journey awaits tomorrow and we are filled with anticipation and excitement. London again…fabulous…lets capitalise! Sorry bad joke…Bye!